The wait has been overbearing… The anticipation in the air… palpable.  I almost typoed Palpatine.  Which is what you loyal starting pitcher-aficionados probably think of me!

We had a start pushed back.  We had me an unbelieving heathen.  Then Memorial Day!  Plus my near-descent into the inability to get out of bed when I watched Yordano Ventura‘s start the other day – saw him torched, velo fall, and taken out early.  Now we get “valgus extension overload” which sounds like some sort of Eastern European sex move…

But alas!  We’ve finally gotten here.  A Pitcher Profile wholly dedicated to Dallas Keuchel, as he continues to rock-m sock-m robot opposing hitters.  Did I just make that a verb?  Yup!  Add yet another complete game to his docket (very nearly three in a row), and he’s easily become the flashiest, out-of-nowhere add to legions of fantasy squads.  But is he a guy to cut at the first sign of danger?  To try and sell high?  Let’s take a looksy at his start this past Sunday where he went the distance against the Mariners:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s about that time, prematurely balding men and four girl readers. Gregory Polanco is nearing his call-up date. He is basically a young version of Starling Marte. As of this writing, he’s 22 years old. I’m hoping he’s still 22 years old when I’m done writing this post otherwise I spent way too much time on it. He can be a superstar, which has me excited. He won’t be a superstar this year, which takes the wind out of my sails for redraft leagues. Usually when I’m talking about wind in my sails, I’m wearing only my boxers and just ate a can of beans, so maybe it’s best if we ignore how much wind is in my sails. Polanco can hit 12 homers and steal 40 bags without killing you in average. Yes, I know, you love him too now. It’s okay, just because your father never loved you doesn’t mean you can’t love another man. In Single-A, Polanco had 16 homers and 40 steals. In Single-A, Marte had 3 homers and 24 steals. Granted, Polanco had 200 extra at-bats in his Single-A year. Granted, Part II: Granted Lives; Polanco was two years younger in his Single-A year. Marte doesn’t have anywhere near the plate discipline of Polanco, so, if anything, Marte will become a poor man’s Polanco. Polanco has the kind of pedigree right now that could mean he’s a top three rounder and one day supplanting The Dread Pirate as the best outfielder in Pittsburgh. I.e., The Sexy Dish That Ate Pittsburgh. Yes, I’m really excited for him. This past year between the two levels, he hit 12 homers and 37 steals while hitting .286. Christian Yelich went from Double-A to the majors and hit fine. Lots of players do. The Pirates weren’t that aggressive. If they were, then Polanco would’ve shot up my preseason rankings and I would’ve told everyone to draft him in every single league. Instead, Polanco went to Triple-A and continued to bash like your 12-year-old self idealizing Jose Canseco. As with rookies, you need to keep expectations in check. To misquote the immortal words of John Popper, “Nobody should think or expect too much while everyone is calling for the movie rights. Singing, ‘Hey, babe, let’s keep in touch. Hey, baby, let’s keep in touch.” He will be up in early June and now is the time to stash him. For 2014, I’ll give him the line of 32/8/36/.250/15 in 300 ABs. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Over the off-season Rudy laid out his argument for why it’s important to maximize at-bats in fantasy leagues with daily moves (like the RCL ones). Even if the mathematical proof don’t resonate with you, there’s no denying the good vibes generated from streaming a hitter for a night and getting even just a 1-for-4 line with a run. Don’t know that feeling? Seriously, loosen up man. Do something crazy. Get black AND pinto beans on your next Chipotle burrito. Pay extra for guac. Add Mike Carp for a night. Just one.

The only downside to this strategy is time. The time it takes to sort through the options and decide who to add and who to drop. Razzball offers tools like Hitter-Tron and Stream-o-Nator to help speed up the process, but even then you have to scroll through its table to find who is available, make sure he will actually play, the game won’t be rained out, etc. For those of you with a wife, two kids, and a job, I get it. It’s tough being a loving father and winning fantasy manager.

I have no wife and zero kids so what I’m offering is to add meaning to my life and do some of that work for you. What I’ll do is scroll through Hitter-Tron, find the best players that are mostly unowned and likely to start, and present them here in an easily digestible format. My plan is to do this every Sunday and Wednesday so you can fill out your lineup on Mondays and Thursdays (the days when teams have off days and you’ll need to stream guys). Sound good? You’re not sure? Whatever, I’m not you trying to convince your girlfriend to try anal. It won’t hurt to do it once.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

CC Sabathia is out until at least July. ESPN said, “The Yankees clearly want to save their ace for a late-season run, so will exercise caution, making sure to not rush a return.” Seriously, is ESPN purposely five years behind everyone else or do they try to anticipate what other people think and just feed off of that? Are they under the assumption that casual (read: lazy) fans think Sabathia is the Yankees ace, so they just go with that? Are they ignoring Tanaka? Are they afraid of upsetting Yankee fans? Do they think Yankee fans are stupid? I have questions, y’all! Sabathia hasn’t been an ace in two years and I see no return to that any time soon. Even if he loses another 75 pounds and grows back his belly, only now it’s from being malnourished, and he shows up at the ballpark with flies buzzing around his head. Chase Whitley will remain in the rotation now and he had a 10+ K/9, 2.4 BB/9 in Triple-A, but he wasn’t even a starter prior to this year and the Yanks are throwing crap against their dresser hoping it forms a pretty, flower-doily design. I wouldn’t mess with him outside of AL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The date was 1 B.O. — that’s one year Before Okrent — and the Fantasy Baseball Overlord rose from the Fantasy Baseball Overlord’s Mom’s Basement and said, “Fantasy baseball lovers, I will grant you one wish.” One Fantasy Baseballer swooped his wisp of hair over his balding spot, in case he ran into any girls, and stepped forward, “I wish that all players would be healthy.” The Fantasy Baseball Overlord scratched under his armpit, thinking. “Fine, prematurely balding man, I will grant you your wish. May all players be healthy. Just not all at the same time or while on your team.” And with that the FBO descended back into its mom’s basement, since it was almost snack time. As the Overlord descended the stairs, the prematurely balding man yelled, “Wait, I didn’t agree to that!” But it was too late, and now Jose Abreu‘s landed on the DL too. Can’t we have anything nice?! Please return to us, The Grande Dolor! Wait a second, where was Frank Thomas this weekend? Frank Thomas did a Snapchat with the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, didn’t he? Answer me true, universe. The White Sox are saying Abreu will be fine to return after the minimum 15 days, and I say, *long sigh* hopefully. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Earlier this week, I played guarantee fairy by marking guys likely to rebound or drop-off based on their BABIP differentials (actual vs. expected). Justin Morneau was a red flag because his expected BABIP is 34+ points lower than his actual BABIP, however this is the case for other Rockies, Brandon Barnes and Troy Tulowitzki even more-so. Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are just behind Morneau as well. What I’m saying is that it’s a generalizable (Colorado) effect, and isn’t too much of a concern in Morneau’s case. The lineup stack probably exacerbates the effect as well.

On the other hand, while Prince Fielder is likely to rebound based on expected BABIP, the ground ball increase and hitting into the defensive shift is really hurting him, meaning I think his issues will somewhat sustain all year.

For this post (using this same matrix), let’s look at some MLB catchers and corner infielders to replace Matt Wieters and Brandon Belt long-term, and who should rebound at least from an expected BABIP perspective (<10% ownership on ESPN as of 5/12). Here is how I have them ranked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Nation!  I used today’s title to try and embody the question everyone is having looking at their waiver wires…

Who the hell is this guy?!

Before his ridiculous debut at Safeco, Collin McHugh had pitched less than 50 ML innings with an ERA that resembled an Extenze advertising claim.  Called up to fill in for a DL-bound Corey Scott Feldman, McHugh got a struggling Mariners offense with swiss cheese bats for 12 Ks and no walks in 6.2 for his first win – giving up three singles and no earned.  I love that before the start, Bo Porter said McHugh is a “pitch to contact guy.”  Good thing the Mariners ain’t got no contact right now!

I watched some highlights of the Ks that game and was lukewarm impressed, but McHugh went out and shut down the A’s, who have a pretty solid O these days.  #Moneyball!  So I decided to take a deeper look at his hot start to 2014 and break down what he could offer fantasy owners looking for some SP help:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The H is O! Oh, no, Jose Fernandez has me so jazzed, I need to bust some rhymes. I came in the door, I said it before. I never let a top starter magnetize me no more, but watching Fernandez yesterday is biting me, fighting me, inviting me to want a number one starter just this one time. I can’t hold it back, I’m looking at his pitching line — 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 14Ks. Taking off my coat, and that’s me quoting Rakim’s quote, his pitches were kicking it until his last hitter, Ryan Doumit. My mind remains refined, all kinds of ideas. Self-esteem makes it seem like his pitching took years to build, but his age is just twenty-one. Prepared, never scared, he’s just a blessed one. And you know that I’ve never seen that terrible movie with Jamie Foxx, think it was called The Soloist, so Jose F. make ‘em clap to this. I said it the other day, but in case you weren’t reading, Fernandez is going to be the best pitcher going into next year. Thought he was a donut, you tried to glaze him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Michael Cuddyer to the DL with his hamstring injury. I love these Monday DL calls right after weekly fantasy lineups lock. Turr…iffic! You don’t care about our fantasy teams at all, Walt Weiss, do you? Last year it was Josh Rutledge, this year it’s Corey Dickerson. I wonder if he holds a secret grudge against fantasy baseball because it never rewarded his defensive prowess while he was playing. “Have you ever thought of adding fielding percentage to your fantasy league?” That was Walt Weiss disguised as a waiter at a Cheesecake Factory waiting on Dan Okrent’s table. Weiss then released bumblebees into Okrent’s suite at The Plaza while he read box scores in his robe. Walt is just bitter because the teacher he had a crush on never gave him the time of day. No, this isn’t the plot of Rushmore; the teacher was Carney Lansford. Ginger ’til he dies! So, with Cuddyer out, this could give Corey Dickerson a chance to show why he should be an everyday outfielder on all mixed league teams. Yesterday, Dickerson had the slam & legs and is capable of more. If you need a fifth outfielder, I’d give him a whirl. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It doesn’t get much deeper than this, does it? That’s what she said! Not everything in a deep league setting is fun. Like hiring a convict to babysit your child, sometimes you just gotta take a guy who’s available and hope for the best as it can be completely soul-wrenching to reach for guys because of their position and be left with little to nothing in return in these types of setups. When you play in a deep league like I do – two at every infield position plus two UTIL and five outfield – you have to let your mind wander beyond the sexy picks and be willing to drunkenly amble back to your apartment with that tall, muscular chick who beat you at arm wrestling while setting a pub record for hot wing plates eaten and really hope she doesn’t have an Adam’s apple. The best part about playing the Crying Game? Not much crying involved because these guys go so deep, so deep if they put your team to sleep you can drop them. And now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you even further than the title could even take you, let’s get down to business. So here’s Matt Dominguez in all his glory and what he can do for your deep league team for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…

Please, blog, may I have some more?